'Using Our Voice,' new Aurora CD, released

Oct. 8, 2010

The Luther College music department has released a new CD, “Using Our Voice,” featuring the choral music of Aurora, Luther's first year women’s choir.  

Aurora is conducted by Sandra Peter, assistant professor of music at Luther College.  

"Using our Voice" is the follow-up to the ensemble’s 2006 release of "Finding a Voice."  

The CD features "O frondens virga" by Kevin Isaacs, which was composed for Aurora and premiered in March 2008 at the North Central-American Choral Directors Association conference. 

Also included on the CD is a piece by Luther alumnus Daniel Kallman, as well as works by Libby Larsen, Andrea Clearfield, Abbie Betinis, Craig Hella Johnson, Stephen Paulus and Daniel Hall, with arrangements by Nancy Grundahl, Mary Kay Geston and Sandra Peter. 

Collaborative artists on the CD include Luther faculty members Jessica Paul and Xiao Hu, piano; Gregory Peterson, organ; as well as Cantorei, Luther’s upperclass women’s choir conducted by Linda Martin, instructor in music.  

The complete track list and online ordering information is available on the Luther College music recordings website, http://music.luther.edu/recordings. CDs are also available through the Luther Book Shop, (888) 521-5039.  

The CD, recorded in Luther's Center for Faith and Life and Noble Recital Hall, was produced by Bruce Larson, Luther’s technical media specialist. 

Aurora, under the name of Pike Kor until 2008, was established at Luther in 1981. The ensemble is comprised of 100 first-year women, selected each fall by audition. Aurora performs on and off-campus for worship services, participates in the annual Christmas at Luther concert and Luther's Dorian Vocal Festival, and presents a spring concert with the Norsemen, Luther’s first-year men’s choir.

The choir has also participated in Luther performances of major choral/orchestral works, such as Beethoven’s "Mass in C major" and J.S. Bach’s "The Passion according to St. John," and has presented at several North Central–American Choral Directors Association conventions.

Peter, who has conducted Aurora since 1992, joined the Luther College music faculty in 1991. In addition to conducting Aurora, she conducts the mixed voice Cathedral Choir and teaches introductory and advanced choral conducting. 

Peter holds a bachelor of arts degree from Concordia College (Moorhead), a master of music degree from the University of Arizona, and a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Iowa. She is an active member of American Choral Directors Association and the College Music Society, and a charter member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization, as well as its state chair for Iowa. 

Peter has been invited to speak at national meetings of both NCCO and ACDA. She is a published arranger with the Neil Kjos Company and MorningStar Music.

Sandra Peter
'Using Our Voice' CD